Scarey “game” being played by Lolo kids

Yesterday evening I learned from my son, as he was telling me what he and his friends did with their free afternoon following an 11:30 dismissal from school to start Spring Break, that a pair of older boys in the neighborhood (perhaps middle school age) described and demonstrated the technique to play the “pass-out game” via hypocapnia by forced hyperventilation. I was appalled to hear that the kids in my neighborhood are playing this very dangerous “game.” I fear that if they don’t achieve the desired result using hypocapnia, they’ll “graduate” to strangulation techniques. I learned later that they are using chest compression administered by a friend, too.

I have discussed the dangers of brain damage and even death with my son and have called the parents of the other boys this morning. I hate to think of them playing this game over Spring Break.

I also sent a letter via email to the administrators of Lolo School. In looking for a resource for education materials that they could use to warn children and their parents about how dangerous this activity is, I landed on a few websites that are great resources for parents and educators. (this group has a Facebook fan page, too).

A 2008 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health study found that at least 79,000 students in the Canadian province of Ontario participated in this act.[2] The 2006 Youth Health Risk Behavioral Survey in Williams County, Ohio found that 11% of youths aged 12–18 years and 19% of youths aged 17–18 reported ever having practiced it.

My son will be 9 next month. It’s never too early to pay attention and make sure your child isn’t learning to engage in risky thrill-seeking activities!

Updates:  I sent my email to Lolo School Administrators the Saturday preceding the week of Spring Break.  I received a response from them on Monday thanking me for taking action, for communicating with the other parents, etc.  I was told that when classes resumed after Spring Break, the administrators would meet with the counselors to develop a strategy for addressing the issue most effectively.  That week the K-5 Principal discussed the issue with my son — a fact gathering discussion from the sounds of it.  Shortly thereafter I received another message from the Superintendent thanking me, once again, and giving me an update.  The school counselors will be having small group discussions with students as they have found that approach more effective than large assemblies for getting messages across.  They have also involved Sheriff McMeekin in their discussions.  I am grateful to live in a school district and county with caring and responsive school administrators and local sheriff.  Having had recent discussions with other parents in other districts who have similarly requested that educators use their position to teach kids how dangerous this is and had their requests fall on deaf ears, I know just how fortunate we are to have school administrators that will be proactive in dealing with this issue and who are making a genuine best effort to make their teachings effective.  Thanks Mike Magone, Dave Hansen and Alice Kupilik as well as the Lolo School Counselors!

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